Thursday, September 13th, 2012
The Australian ideal of a large brick house on a quarter acre block is being challenged, as a modern take on the historic inner-city terrace gains traction in regional Australia, according to a Trend Report published in the latest edition of the green design and building magazine Light Home magazine. (

The 15-page Report – The Rise of the New Terrace – in the Spring Issue of the Light Home magazine, found Victorian-style terraces that are being reimagined for the 21st Century household, are providing regional homebuyers with access to affordable homes with both modern and sustainable appeal.

“It’s a traditional principle, reworked for modern needs,” Brendon Collins, managing director of developer-builder Lightwood Property & Construction told Light Home. “Costs are driving many people in regional areas out of big homes, so a high performance, sustainable and modern terrace is a great option to have.”

The Report also quotes NSW Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Bradley Hazzard, who told Light Home developers in NSW are experiencing an increasing demand for smaller homes and smaller block sizes, and to cater to this the range of housing stock needs to improve.

“The [NSW] Government wants to promote housing choice,” Hazzard says. “Which means we want homebuyers to have access to opportunities for all types of housing, whether on the urban fringe or existing urban areas.”

The Report, which profiles five modern terrace projects throughout Australia, also found these developments are subject to an excess of local council restrictions, which make this style of housing all but unviable in many local government areas.

Sean Macken, research fellow at public policy analyst the McKell Institute, told Light Home a huge stumbling block for developers are the council requirements for off-street or underground parking for terrace dwellings, while minimum block sizes are too large for a terrace house.

“I don’t know why so many councils are scared of these developments,” Macken says. “Perhaps they think terrace housing will make the suburb too crowded or that people need a lawn to live a healthy lifestyle.”

Macken adds that terraces are not only well designed, they are “tried and tested” to be an effective and sustainable form of housing. He explains: “Councils need to get over their fear of terraces and see it for the good urban design that it is.”

Meanwhile, Hazzard explains that while the Government does not have a role in promoting one type of housing over another, its focus is on “removing these regulatory barriers” to improve housing supply and house choice for consumers.

Also in this month’s Light Home

The Spring Issue of Light Home also includes exclusive interviews with four of Australia’s leading architects - Christopher Polly, Pierre Della-Putta, Dianna Thomas and past Design Ambassador Shane Denman.

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energy efficient homes, green building, green design and building, sustainable architecture



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